Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Thing I Didn't Want to Know

I have wondered why the parent house wrens always fly away with the fecal sacs they remove from the nest---why they don't just drop them to the ground beneath the nest. I hoped the reason was to remove evidence of nest location as a protection against predators. I feared they might take them to a distant branch to consume them themselves.

Today my curiosity was satisfied. Papa Small carried the small white bundle to a bare dogwood branch across the clearing from the branch of the nest, lifted his small head, opened his small throat, and gulped down his cargo.

For once I wish my guess had been wrong, but admit to appreciating the efficiency of it all. The parents' perpetual bringing of morsels to the nestlings leaves precious little time or matter for the parents' own meals. dkm

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